English as a Second Language

Tennessee Rules and Regulations require that students whose first language is other than English and who are limited in their English language proficiency be provided with a specially designed alternative language program. [Rule 0520-1-3-.056. a. 1 and 2 ii.]

In Tennessee, this specially designed language program is English as a Second Language (ESL). ESL programs must be delivered by an endorsed ESL teacher using the ESL curriculum. The ESL curriculum is a general set of English language acquisition standards that should be used in conjunction with content standards. These standards address the language support necessary to enable the English Learner (EL) to access the grade level content curriculum by providing a bridge for ELs to the academic content curriculum. Tennessee adopted the WIDA standards in 2013. These standards can be found here.